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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-12-2014 06:58 PM
One_Girl You might be able to get him in quicker by talking to his pediatrician about a diagnosis. Sometimes they have their nurse talk to the other doctor's nurse to get you in quickly. A child psychologist may be easier to get into and may help him process this big cchange effectively.
06-12-2014 12:29 PM
beanma If he'll be 10 in May, then I think 4th grade is the right grade age-wise. My dd2 started 4th as 9 and turned 10 in Nov.

We've never seen a developmental behavioral ped, but I would think they would approach things more from a medical perspective and probably offer diagnoses for a wider range of conditions. We saw a child psychologist who specialized specifically in psycho-educational assessments.
06-12-2014 09:54 AM
crazytownmama He'll be 10 in May. I've already signed him up for 4th grade... DH and I thought long and hard about where to put him, grade wise and we figured it would do more to his self esteem to keep him back than work with him to catch up (I have no doubts he could catch up rather quickly if he wanted to).. but if we left him back, he'd be a year behing his cubscout friends and a year behind in the extra-curriculars (so 4th grade religion/3rd grade school... he's a kid that doesn't get over stuff easy, and that would mess with him.

I think I'm going to email the teacher and ask if i can drop off some school supplies (GREAT idea btw - totally stealing it!)... before school starts so we can say hello. I'll take ds with me to meet her/him. We'll practice walking to his room so he knows where to go, and maybe ill ask the principal if it would be ok if i walked him to his room the first day (or is that a major no-no socially in 4th grade? ) I'll mention that he has been homeschooled so far, is shy/slow when tested and that if he needs extra help in stuff for her to just send suggestions home and we'll work on it, and maybe bring up his vision issues? Too much to share at once? (side issue: the math curriculum we're using now has a timed piece to it -- complete this sheet in 5 minutes, etc... and i can't use the timer or he melts down unable to answer the first question. Without the timer, he's not far off of the suggested time).

How do I handle the running away stuff? (It reminds me of a story my mom likes to tell of my sister... who we used to walk to school... one day, she was sitting on the steps when mom and I made it back to the house. That is TOTALLY something ds would do!)

And I think we might be doing testing anyway... his OT wants him to be evaluated by a developmental behavioral ped... im working on getting an appt but most ive called so far have year long waits... (is that the same kind?)

Sigh... its always something
06-12-2014 07:33 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
I really feel like she is right on the edge of being able to qualify and will do okay w/o a label, so I went with her wishes. On the other hand, I have friends who felt such a sense of relief when they finally got a label and felt like it was validation for the way their brain worked. So I think whether labels are good or bad can be really individual.


Another reason to let your son get in there and see what sort of learner he is in a school environment.
06-12-2014 07:05 AM
beanma I think you've gotten great advice so far.

In my area it would be entirely appropriate to contact the principal and share your concerns. We had our kids in a small crunchy private school that closed unexpectedly the summer after my dd1's 4th grade year and dd2's 1st grade year. We made the surprise transition to public school for 2nd and 5th grade. The school principal was super nice and met with us in person and we were able to tell her about our girls. They had been in mixed age classes in the private school and because of school class size the public school was having to do one mixed 4th/5th grade class. Dd1 was put in that, which was great, and with a really easy going teacher who was just an excellent fit for her. She is borderline on some issues (anxiety, possible NVLD, some organizational challenges) and we talked about those things with the principal. When we met the teacher we knew he would be a good fit and while we were concerned we were optimistic. It was a big jump for her, but overall pretty good.

When we were in the private school they did suggest we have her tested because of her reluctance to read and some of her other quirks (meowing and being a cat through most of 1st and 2nd grade, for example, and severe separation anxiety). We did private testing with an education psychologist (not psychiatrist because we didn't want to jump to meds) and she suggested the NVLD and said that at that time she met the criteria for ADD.

I don't really think she is ADD, but she does have some challenges with executive function and continues to have challenges in math. She can DO math, but it's much harder for her than her other subjects. In other courses (like Science) she can get an A+, but math is a really hard won B-. It is by far the subject she struggles most in and works the hardest in.

We chose NOT to pursue those labels, though, because she can succeed w/o them and because I worried that it would hurt more than it would help. We can always look into getting labels later if we need to. She has several friends in her current school with IEPs and I asked her one time if she wanted me to look into an IEP for her so she could get more time on tests (sometimes she runs out of time, esp on Math), but she was very clear she did not want that and said it would make her feel bad (i.e. dumb, messed up, etc). I really feel like she is right on the edge of being able to qualify and will do okay w/o a label, so I went with her wishes. On the other hand, I have friends who felt such a sense of relief when they finally got a label and felt like it was validation for the way their brain worked. So I think whether labels are good or bad can be really individual.

Your son won't be labeled unless he gets tested. That is unlikely to happen right away and could take most of the school year in some school systems. If you are concerned you might want to pursue private testing. I think it would be appropriate to contact your principal and see what she or he recommends, too. The principal may give you parameters for private testing or suggest that it's more appropriate to go through the school system and tell you how to expedite the process.

My dd2 just finished 4th grade. From your description it does sound like he would be behind in our school system. Going into 4th grade there is an expectation of fluent reading and they should have their multiplication tables down and be able to spit out the facts fairly fast. They will do more multiplying and get to division later on in 4th. They also throw in some algebraic thinking, fractions, percentages, decimals, etc.

If your son is really struggling with math and reading you might consider starting him in 3rd grade instead, just to give him more time to catch up. Redshirting (holding a kid back a year) is common now, especially for boys, in Kindergarten and he would likely have some same age peers. How old is he? 10? Most 4th graders are 10 or 9 turning 10. Most of the kids in my dd1's class this year were 10 or turned 10 in the fall.
06-11-2014 06:04 PM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Thank you both for this. I had been getting a little bed of roses tone, so I am glad you have both chosen to clarify.

Realism trumps beds of roses or beds of thorns for that matter any day.

here is an example -- the public middle school my DD attended for one year bent over backwards to make school work for her. They changed schedules so that she and her neurotypical sister could be in the same lunch period. She was allowed to leave class at any time without asking and she had 2 places she could go. She went to school on a shortened scheduled. Teachers changed from telling kids to pick a partner to tell them who their partner was because picking a partner caused her to panic. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

One of the problems for her, though, was that she couldn't cope with the sound of all the lockers slamming. They would let her switch classes before all the all the kids, or after all the other kids, or at the same time. But it didn't matter because even in a classroom she could still hear it loudly, and still feel the vibration, and she couldn't cope with it.

Sometimes, it doesn't matter how hard all the adults are working, it just doesn't work.

Starting with the assumption that the ONLY thing you need to worry about in helping a quirky kid adjust to school is WHAT to fight about IMHO implies a belief that if only you can force the school to do the right thing (even though you don't know what that is) then everything will work out fine. Reality is a lot more complicated than that.

And parents who believe that the school is the enemy end up blaming school for problems rather than working toward solutions.

When there is a problem, try to work WITH the school to find a solution rather than jumping to the assumption that they are just idiots who hate children.

Sometimes, solutions are hard to find. Blame is seldom and helpful. Listening to what their constraints legally are helps. (my first proposal for a shortened school was heavily modified because it wouldn't have been in line with state law). Communicating in writing and including letters from doctors and specialist help.
06-11-2014 05:46 PM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I'm a parent who is similar to kathymuggle in that I have one high school graduate, one graduating senior (in school since Grade 10), one Grade 10 (in school since Grade 8) and one still-homeschooler. The standard school program has certainly not been a good fit for my kids. With my eldest we ended up asking for acceleration, advanced placement, independent study permission, two months away from school, part-time schooling and eventually distance education. My next kid needed an IEP and subject acceleration. My third needed a grade-skip but that hasn't provided sufficient breadth or challenge, so she's now changing schools. None of my kids has entered the school system and found a good fit off the bat or forever.



Miranda
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
And sometimes schools are really bad fits, in ways that aren't any body's fault.



Helping my DD who is both on the spectrum and gifted get an education has been far from a bed of roses. It is partly because of having so many experiences with just a challenging child that I think it is important to school and home to work as a team. That's the best chance our kids have.
Thank you both for this. I had been getting a little bed of roses tone, so I am glad you have both chosen to clarify.

Realism trumps beds of roses or beds of thorns for that matter any day.
06-11-2014 04:48 PM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I know several posters on this thread have had their children change schools because they were not getting their needs met at the school they were in. This is not a recrimination. Sometime great schools meet needs, and sometimes they don't. Ditto poor and mediocre schools.
And sometimes schools are really bad fits, in ways that aren't any body's fault.

Quote:
While I *do* think all adults should try and check their biases and preconceptions, I also think we need to be realistic. It is not all sunshine and roses all the time - and I can almost guarantee that if your child stays in school long term it will not all be smooth sailing even if you are open and doing your best as a parent. You are not the only one in the parent/school relationship.
Helping my DD who is both on the spectrum and gifted get an education has been far from a bed of roses. It is partly because of having so many experiences with just a challenging child that I think it is important to school and home to work as a team. That's the best chance our kids have.

The only thing that the OPer has said about her child that I think raises real issues is running away. You really can't do that at school, and the person who needs to really take that to heart is her child. (kids read and do math at different levels, and schools handle that in different ways.)

For the running away, I would let the school know about it, and I would ask if there is a safe, quiet space he can be allowed to go without asking permission. They may or may not go for this option. They may want to wait and see how it plays out.

But her son needs to understand that he can't just take off. It is a huge deal, and many schools respond with in school suspension.
06-11-2014 01:58 PM
moominmamma I'm a parent who is similar to kathymuggle in that I have one high school graduate, one graduating senior (in school since Grade 10), one Grade 10 (in school since Grade 8) and one still-homeschooler. The standard school program has certainly not been a good fit for my kids. With my eldest we ended up asking for acceleration, advanced placement, independent study permission, two months away from school, part-time schooling and eventually distance education. My next kid needed an IEP and subject acceleration. My third needed a grade-skip but that hasn't provided sufficient breadth or challenge, so she's now changing schools. None of my kids has entered the school system and found a good fit off the bat or forever.

I don't think anyone is saying that it's all going to be a bed of roses. What I'm saying, at least, is that you're likely to get a lot more of what you need if you start from a place of optimism and relationship-building rather than by preparing for a fight.

Miranda
06-11-2014 01:33 PM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
While I *do* think all adults should try and check their biases and preconceptions, I also think we need to be realistic.
I agree with this too, which is why I said up thread that I thought a lot of this comes down to how individuals process information and perspectives.

In addition to knowing several people have what Miranda described, I have also known what seemed like people with rose-colored glasses on get really burned by fairly minor (and easily anticipated) challenges.

This is where we really need to just check ourselves.

My DC's first elementary had a great reputation and we had had such a great first year of pre-K that I was totally blind-sided by how much and how strongly I disagreed with some of the school's policies. So, yea, it's a balancing act.
06-11-2014 12:59 PM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by salr View Post
I think One_Girl's experience shows that it's not always prudent to go in assuming that the school will want to do the right or smart thing. Sometimes you DO have to fight for your kid. Sometimes trying to use the word "advocate" instead is inaccurate. That's why I think preparing for the worst is actually the best thing to do. As long as you can manage to go in and act like you expect cooperation and a good relationship.

But these questions of what to do and how to go about it are essential. I would never just trust the school to do the right thing. I like the ideas of just getting involved in general. And then using that to get one on one time with the teacher.

Hopefully everything goes smoothly!

I appreciate this post.


I know several posters on this thread have had their children change schools because they were not getting their needs met at the school they were in. This is not a recrimination. Sometime great schools meet needs, and sometimes they don't. Ditto poor and mediocre schools.


While I *do* think all adults should try and check their biases and preconceptions, I also think we need to be realistic. It is not all sunshine and roses all the time - and I can almost guarantee that if your child stays in school long term it will not all be smooth sailing even if you are open and doing your best as a parent. You are not the only one in the parent/school relationship.


That being said, it seems everyone is agreement (which doesn't happen that often, lol) that you might want to wait on asking for identification/labeling.


Good luck!


Kathy (who homeschools one child, has one senior in high school (in school since grade 10) and one grade 10 (in school since grade 7) )
06-11-2014 10:21 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I find that so often there's a self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Parents who expect trouble view trivial comments and occurrences through that lens, find their biases affirmed and then unwittingly through their defensive reactions contribute to creating actual problems.
Really well put. And I agree.

The misconceptions that can come from a lack of good communication, negative assumptions, and rumors is somethin'.
06-11-2014 09:00 AM
moominmamma
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
This is so important it deserves to be repeated.
And repeated again, lol!

I find that so often there's a self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Parents who expect trouble view trivial comments and occurrences through that lens, find their biases affirmed and then unwittingly through their defensive reactions contribute to creating actual problems. As much as we worry about biasing the teacher against our children by sharing too much information about potential problems, we also need to worry about biasing ourselves and our children against the school by worrying too much about potential problems.

Obviously we don't want to blindly assume everything it great when there are stark indicators that it has gone terribly wrong. Nor should we assume that if there are problems it is pointless to advocate -- or even "fight" -- to change them. But generally I've always tried to work from the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can within their means and from the knowledge the have, and that communication is the best route to solving issues that come up.

Miranda
06-11-2014 07:05 AM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

In fact, for me (just me, not someone else), those positive assumptions about the school and the teachers is essential to school success for my kid. I think there is a strong relationship between MY relationship and feelings about school and my child's education.

It sounds odd, I guess, but OP if you are someone who is really attached emotionally to your child (and I imagine you are) please keep in mind the possibility that your child may well be filtering his expectations through your eyes.
This is so important it deserves to be repeated.

If you go anywhere looking for a fight, you can find one. If you go in expecting to build a partnership, you often can create one.
06-11-2014 06:19 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by salr View Post
I think One_Girl's experience shows that it's not always prudent to go in assuming that the school will want to do the right or smart thing.
I think a lot of this depends on the individual parents and how they process their assumptions about situations and people.

I am definitely a person who absolutely has to assume the best in my children's teachers and admins. I simply can not ask the right questions unless my underlying feelings about the situation are positive. I know this from experience.

But I also know that I don't have blind optimism.

I have been through the entire emotional process of acceptance for what public school has to offer. From wanting to be a teacher as a young adult, to having my own child and thinking public school was just the most pathetic sub-par un-idealistic institution ever and refusing to send my kid there, to finding a school that was a great fit for my kid, to falling in love (head over heals) for the community values and power of public education, to deciding, again, that I would like to be a public school teacher.

I know from first-hand experience that public schooling has its challenges but being aware of that does not, IMO, conflict with deciding that I will give the school my best assumptions on the day that I decide to let my kid through those doors.

In fact, for me (just me, not someone else), those positive assumptions about the school and the teachers is essential to school success for my kid. I think there is a strong relationship between MY relationship and feelings about school and my child's education.

It sounds odd, I guess, but OP if you are someone who is really attached emotionally to your child (and I imagine you are) please keep in mind the possibility that your child may well be filtering his expectations through your eyes.

I'm a big old atheist who also believes that the world (and our kids!) tend to live up and down to our expectations. We can be aware of potential problems, challenges, limitations, and still hold positive assumptions and expectations.
06-11-2014 05:46 AM
salr I think One_Girl's experience shows that it's not always prudent to go in assuming that the school will want to do the right or smart thing. Sometimes you DO have to fight for your kid. Sometimes trying to use the word "advocate" instead is inaccurate. That's why I think preparing for the worst is actually the best thing to do. As long as you can manage to go in and act like you expect cooperation and a good relationship.

But these questions of what to do and how to go about it are essential. I would never just trust the school to do the right thing. I like the ideas of just getting involved in general. And then using that to get one on one time with the teacher.

Hopefully everything goes smoothly!
06-10-2014 10:48 PM
JollyGG
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post


I have no frame of reference for the school system, and I don't know how to do any of that. I get his teacher assignment before he starts school... and I'm planning to take him to school to do test-runs on how to get to his classroom/bathroom/etc. (the lady that i dropped the paperwork off with said this would be fine). But, HOW do I start a dialogue with his teacher? When? I don't want her blindsided, but I don't want to prejudice her either... I know teachers spend time in the classroom before school starts... I would love to take him by just to say hi ... but have no idea if this is even possible...
This one is actually easy. Here's my favorite method so I don't feel to awkward. I find that back to school night is a crazy mess and there is no time to visit, as are most other formal chances to meet or visit with the teacher. Instead I send a quick email and say "I have some classroom supplies I'd like to drop off. Is there a time you will be available so I can get those to you." The 12 pack of Kleenex I bring on the trip as my pretext always goes over well and they know this is a way for me to informally have a better visit with them and are usually prepared to sit down with me for a few minutes and talk about my son. I usually just make sure they have my contact information and stress that I would like to know of any issues so we can resolve them together as soon as they occur. I mention that I have a few concerns but don't actually detail them until the teacher has had a chance to see how it goes without me coloring her perception. I usually leave with a request for a meeting to talk about how it's going several weeks after school has started after everyone has settled in.

I then find that frequent volunteering gives me a chance to see how things are going in the classroom. Every teacher my kids have ever had has also taken that opportunity to informally touch base with me about how things are going and issues that we are trying to work through.

My daughter just got an IEP for reading and it was a long process because there are so many safeguards in place to try and avoid placing a label where it doesn't belong. The staff at the IEP even admitted that ours was an unusual IEP meeting as there were no behavioral issues of concern. Usually academic issues have festered for so long that acting out behaviors have also started cropping up by the time a student makes it all the way through. It was also clear that they anticipated dismissing my daughters IEP just as soon as she didn't need it anymore. My daughters current IEP is due to reading delays. She had a speech IEP prior to this and that one has already been dismissed. They look at the IEP yearly and do a full reevaluation every 3 years (per law). We kept the speech IEP for the full three until she didn't requalify at the the full reevaluation as a chance to reinforce the gains she'd made the first two years. She could have been dismissed from it after 2 years. They anticipate dismissing the reading IEP at one of the annual reviews as they just don't see her needing it all 3 year. The hope is to have it dismissed after a year, two at the most.

We all anticipate her participation in the gifted program just as soon as we get the reading issues resolved. The reason she won't participate in the gifted program just yet is because - 1. Her scores just miss the cutoff, likely due to the reading delay, 2. She is missing 45 minutes of class every day for reading help already. Additional time for gifted pull out doesn't seem appropriate to either her teachers, her resource teachers or myself.

In our area gifted education is not mandated. Having a 2E kid actually means that the team can sometimes put gifted education supports into the IEP. The IEP is a legal document. If you and her team decide to put advanced supports in that IEP it then becomes legally binding. For example, if I were to decide an IEP for my son's ADHD was appropriate (I don't) we could put into that IEP requirements that he be able to pretest out of Math units covering materials he's already mastered. That then becomes a legally binding requirement at school.
06-10-2014 05:22 PM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
I have no frame of reference for the school system, and I don't know how to do any of that.
Up thread KM mentioned how regionally different some of this stuff is. In my town it is even very different from school to school.

I can give a tip that, IMO, it's important as a public school parent to attend the orientations, meetings, and social gatherings offered by the school.

Many schools often have a parent organization (like a PTO) as well as some sort of parent contact for classes/grades (like a "room parent). Getting involved with these folks will also help you navigate the waters.

I was worried sending my 6th grader to a new school knowing that she had still resolving learning issues (especially writing skills). I didn't make contact with teachers because that just wasn't really done at this school. When I finally got to meet with teachers several months in, I found that these teachers already really knew my DC and things were going along super well.

My DC's elementary is super small and there was time to meet with teachers before school, a volunteer day before the start of the year, meetings very early in the year, chance in the morning to chat with the principal, opportunity to walk kids in to the room and talk with the teacher about the day...

Her current school is a drop-and-go.

It just really depends.

Have you gotten a chance to meet any of the families at the school? That's an ideal way to get the lay of the land.
06-10-2014 04:58 PM
crazytownmama
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
. Ask how to build really positive communication with his teacher, ask how long to wait for him to adjust to one situation before requesting a change. Ask how you work WITH the professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping kids, like your son, be successful.
.


I have no frame of reference for the school system, and I don't know how to do any of that. I get his teacher assignment before he starts school... and I'm planning to take him to school to do test-runs on how to get to his classroom/bathroom/etc. (the lady that i dropped the paperwork off with said this would be fine). But, HOW do I start a dialogue with his teacher? When? I don't want her blindsided, but I don't want to prejudice her either... I know teachers spend time in the classroom before school starts... I would love to take him by just to say hi ... but have no idea if this is even possible...
06-10-2014 04:19 PM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
I don't mean to come across as adversarial, i really don't... I am hoping for the best, but trying to prepare for the worst... and I don't want to make a decision
We homeschooled in a relaxed way until the the kids were 10 and 12, and then they started school. My oldest is both gifted and the autism spectrum with intense sensory issues, a social anxiety disorder, and significant fine motor deficits. She is now in college, and I now work in a school with special needs children and I'm working on my special ed teaching certificate.

The worst case scenario isn't that you won't know the right thing to "fight" for. The worst case scenario is that in spite of the you and the school working in partnership, your son takes a long time to adjust and is completely miserable. Part of this has to come from HIM, nobody at the school has a magic wand that if you fight hard enough, you can force them to wave.

The special ed teachers at our school act as consultants for the gen ed teachers. There are informal conversations, and advice is given of things to try to help kids *who don't have any kind of label but are struggling* to be successful.

Right now, you have no idea how your son will do, so you CANNOT make a decision. It would be a bogus decision based on nothing. You are asking how what to fight over, and its not the right question. Ask how to build really positive communication with his teacher, ask how long to wait for him to adjust to one situation before requesting a change. Ask how you work WITH the professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping kids, like your son, be successful.

Asking what your should fight for is is going in believing that they are doing their best to keep your son from good things in life. I only had positive experiences with my DD's school, and now I work in a lowly ranked school with lots of English Language Learners, and I watch teachers work their butts off to help kids be successful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I think you need to talk to and get input from local sources moreso than MDC. Regional differences can be very marked.

Although there are differences from state to state and district to district, in the US, the bare minimum any school can do is covered under Federal Law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004), which includes due process safeguards. One of those safeguards is that students cannot be classified as having special needs if there is any chance that their current difficulties are due to lack of qualify instruction, which is there to prevent kids who don't really have a special need from being labeled as having one, but makes it difficult to transition special needs kids who have been homeschooled.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
The school proposed pulling her out for special services. It was a small school so the only options for this sort of intervention was to pull her out for PE and Math.
In my state, if a child is pulled out during core instruction (reading, writing, or math) then the teacher who pulls them out is responsible for making up that gen ed curriculum. So kids who are in gen ed and received services are pulled during PE, art, music, etc. Sometimes they miss recess.

It sucks, and all staff members at my school agree it sucks.

None the less, when you can't pull kids during half the day, and you try to coordinate with all the grades, it just sucks.

This is, IMHO, another reason to not advocate for services as a way of adjusting to school. They are often provided during the most fun parts of the school day.
06-10-2014 04:07 PM
crazytownmama Transitions/new experiences are very hard for him. He's been doing religious ed for 3 years now. The first year, getting him in to class... getting him to STAY in his class... those were very hard things to do (he'd sit, then run right out again. Or he'd start to have a fit...loud wailing and flailing...). The next year, it was easier (although I still had to walk him to his class). This past year... I've finally made it to the drop off lanes with the rest of the moms... to be honest, i've suspected he might be on the autism spectrum at times... but, other times so not. I don't know. I do know that so many people have told me its a discipline thing and I should just disengage and walk away... but I honestly don't think he'd be able to handle that. (I could easily do that with my second son if he did the same things... because I know he might WANT me to stay, but he didn't NEED me there. Am i making any sense?)

His reading isn't up to speed (we just found out that he has a vision issue) but his comprehension is fine. And, he CAN read... he just can't read pages at a time... Math is similar in that he can do it, but he is NOT fast enough at it (that might be my insecurity -- and that he CAN be slow at it now)...

I am just so conflicted about it all, and trying to pretend like its going to be this great thing for him so he looks forward to going (he does NOT want to go)...
06-10-2014 09:16 AM
whatsnextmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
(I think he might truly benefit from services this year to make the transition easier, but once we're over that... i don't think he'd really need them... and I don't want to make this year easier at the expense of his future schooling, yanno?
What "services" are you expecting he'd get? What does the school offer? In our area, there is speech. There are some services for learning disabilities. There are some special needs classrooms on certain campuses but for more extreme cases. However, there won't be services for "transitions" and the like.

What you decide to share with the school really depends on what they have to offer. Like I said, if he has something specific that will be seen as a behavioral issue but is really due to a disorder of some sort.... you should share. If you just think he won't be used to sitting in his seat, or he's a little squirrely then nothing outside maybe a comment to the teacher "just so you know, he's been homeschooled and might need a little help on the school routine the first week."
06-10-2014 08:35 AM
One_Girl They pretty much ignored me and my concerns during the problem solving meeting. It's very easy to know where a child is with reading and I had her data from grades, teacher reports for two years, the reports from the current teacher, and testing done through a private tutoring center. I was also not the one who decided the concerns weren't valid, the team did after I pushed for more information about her abilities during the meetings.

Our state has a one minute fluency test that tests how many words a child can read in a minute and the problem was with speed reading ability not reading ability, a problem that didn't show up on her formal tests. In referring for services the law requires multiple measures be used but her principal and the teachers had a tendency to freak out about one, by their owm admission, then back off when a parent was knowledgeable about the law and pushed for a full picture of ability.

When I spoke with each teacher they seemed worried about her math skills but that isn't what came out in the meetings. It was weird. In thr third grade meeting they claimed concern because they did a fluency test weekly and some weeks she read 120 words a minute and some 95 but she'd always received the high score on the test, except the first one in first grade, and she waa in the highest reading group reading and comprehending two years above grade level. Our meeting to look at her math skills was taken up by us discussing these facts and them deciding we needed no intervention in reading and they threw in having her do a math computer game for half an hour a week then school ended for the year (we were a midyear transfer). The next year I took a wait and see approach and the teacher was fine with giving informal support until two thirds of the way through the teacher was worried about math again so we had another problem solving meeting. When I got there they started in on the fluency again it was pretty much the same thing, she was reading between about 110 and 130 words a minute and needed to be up beyonf 140 but her actual reading ability was beyond grade level as assessed by their measurements so it was decided that she just needed to practice reading faster orally but no intervention was necessary. We didn't get time to address math, they had another two meetings I wasn't able to go to because they gave me a weeks notice and I couldn't get time off. I did get the records from the meeting and in each one they had inaccuracies that didn't match the scores they has provided me or the information on record and I got so frustrated with their unwillingness to even look at her records while evaluating concerns that I demanded a stop to the process in writing and just stuck with private tutoring. I may have been able to push them into making a real evaluation of her needs but it was such a stressful and drawn our process I found it faster to just address them with private support.
06-10-2014 07:36 AM
contactmaya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

What kinds of behavior issues does your son have, and what do you do for behavior supports at home?

What do you want the school to do for behavior support?
I am wondering also if you had to adjust for his issues when homeschooling. I find that with ds1, his sensory issues which sound similar to your sons, only become a problem in the school environment, so that when teachers ask what i do at home, i cant give them an answer. ie, the hustle and bustle of the classroom is challenging for him to process and causes him to fidget, make noises. I n addition, he misses alot of information because of auditory processing issues.

My ds2, would appeared to have had issues at school based on his home behavior, problems with transitions, difficulty sustaining attention, sensory issues, but is thriving at school, with none of these difficulties apparent at all.
06-10-2014 07:28 AM
contactmaya
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I have found that labels are hard to shake and that a premature label in one area can make it hard for a child to get help in another area they actually need help in. My dd got an iinaccurate flag at her first school as needing support in reading because of one low fluency score at the beginning of first grade and when shesswitched back midyear they tested her weekly in third grade and again in fourth after seeing that on her file. Each time I pushed them to look at her actual reading and comprehension level and each time they did and acknowledged that she was reading and comprehending above grade level but imo the label prevented her from getting enrichment until this year when she got a teacher who doesn't believe in looking at the files. My dd's attitude about school was much better this year.

Their focus on the potential problem in reading made it hard to get time to talk about the actual problem in math.
All the time for discussion during the problem solving meeting was spent with me probing into the validity of the reading concern and all of us deciding it was invalid. By the time they were ready to look at the math concern she was close to grade level in private tutoring and I was too horrific by our previous interactions to risk having something similar happen with math.
Gosh, what a bureaucratic muddle.
Are you saying they effectively ignored you when you told them the label wasnt valid, and that you would like them to focus on her real needs? Or is it, that because you are not there in school, you dont know what is happening day to day? I find it hard to believe that they just ignored you and continued to waste everyone's time...
06-10-2014 07:21 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I don't think you should get advice on MDC on this. I think you need to talk to and get input from local sources…. regional differences can be very marked.
I agree that regional differences are pretty remarkable. Reading on the LAS forum shows that to be quite true. That said, I do think feedback on the LAS forum is useful - at least it is to me. In part because even within a district you have a big variety of experiences and feedback.

I can not tell you how often I have heard totally incorrect information from even someone in the exact same school as my DC's. Even teachers!

School life, policy, rules, culture, and etc. is one of the hardest places to get accurate information, I have found.

OP, at my DC's two most recent schools there is the "official word" and then there is "the practice". I have found very often that these two things are not always the same.

I will admit that many of the decisions I have made for my DC regarding school have been a combination of instinct and wading through rumor and mis-information.

I suggest befriending the principal.
06-10-2014 07:00 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
I don't mean to come across as adversarial, i really don't...
I don't think you did.

I think you need to talk to and get input from local sources moreso than MDC. Regional differences can be very marked. What do people in you area say? Get input from more than one.

I understand your concerns with regard to labelling. I would go for it if it would facilitate meeting needs, but otherwise, I would try and avoid. I certainly wouldn't seek one out until he had been in school a good 6 months or so to see how he adjusts.
06-10-2014 06:33 AM
Linda on the move
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
I don't mean to come across as adversarial, i really don't... I am hoping for the best, but trying to prepare for the worst... and I don't want to make a decision that is going to impact him for years based on behavior issues he might have during the adjustment from home to school...(I think he might truly benefit from services this year to make the transition easier, but once we're over that... i don't think he'd really need them...
If you son doesn't have any special needs that wil require services after he adjust to school, then do not advocate for testing or services now . These are long processes, and not meant for a transition.

Talk to the principal and teacher, and they can provide informal supports.

There are legal protections in place to try to prevent kids from being labeled as special needs when they aren't, and I think you would have an uphill battle this year because transitioning from homeschool isn't a special need.

I honestly wouldn't ask for behavior supports unless you think it is likely that your son will be violent or aggressive . "behavior disorder " is an extremely difficult label to live down. Those kids are watched more closely , suspended more quickly.

What kinds of behavior issues does your son have, and what do you do for behavior supports at home?

What do you want the school to do for behavior support?
06-09-2014 01:29 PM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post
(I think he might truly benefit from services this year to make the transition easier, but once we're over that... i don't think he'd really need them... and I don't want to make this year easier at the expense of his future schooling, yanno?
It may be that you don't even have a choice in this matter. If he is not currently in the system as needing special services and the only suspicion about him needing them is from you as his homeschooling parent, you may find that the school and district want to take a "wait and see" approach.

In our area, based on my experience with my DC, the IEP evaluation is recommended by the principal, not the parent.

My DC's elementary school, FYI, did great work in getting new kids up to speed on the school culture and expectations. ALL kids needed some extra attention coming in to the new school. Here's to hoping your DC's school prepares for this too and that your DC does well with the adjustment!
06-09-2014 12:58 PM
One_Girl I have found that labels are hard to shake and that a premature label in one area can make it hard for a child to get help in another area they actually need help in. My dd got an iinaccurate flag at her first school as needing support in reading because of one low fluency score at the beginning of first grade and when shesswitched back midyear they tested her weekly in third grade and again in fourth after seeing that on her file. Each time I pushed them to look at her actual reading and comprehension level and each time they did and acknowledged that she was reading and comprehending above grade level but imo the label prevented her from getting enrichment until this year when she got a teacher who doesn't believe in looking at the files. My dd's attitude about school was much better this year.

Their focus on the potential problem in reading made it hard to get time to talk about the actual problem in math.
All the time for discussion during the problem solving meeting was spent with me probing into the validity of the reading concern and all of us deciding it was invalid. By the time they were ready to look at the math concern she was close to grade level in private tutoring and I was too horrific by our previous interactions to risk having something similar happen with math.
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